EU launches $340 bn infrastructure plan to rival China

New Delhi, Dec 1 : The European Union (EU) has revealed details of a $340 billion global investment plan, described as a “true alternative” to China’s Belt and Road strategy, the BBC reported.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the global gateway scheme should become a trusted brand.

China has funded rail, roads and ports, but has been accused of leaving some countries saddled with debt.

The Commission chief said countries need “trusted partners” to design projects that are sustainable, the report said.

The EU is looking at how it can leverage billions of euros, drawn from member states, financial institutions and the private sector.

Leyen said the projects had to be of high quality, with a high level of transparency and good governance, and had to deliver tangible results for the countries involved, she explained. One EU official told the BBC that Africa would be a major focus of the scheme.

China’s strategy has reached Africa, Asia, the Indo-Pacific and the EU too. China’s Cosco company owns two-thirds of the huge Greek container port at Piraeus and the China Road and Bridge Corporation has built a key bridge in Croatia.

“When it comes to investment choices,” said the Commission President, “The few options that exist too often come with a lot of small print which includes big consequences, be it financially, politically but also socially.”

Projects had to be of high quality, with a high level of transparency and good governance, and had to deliver tangible results for the countries involved.(IANS)

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